Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16

I basically decided to attend Yale Law School because I knew it had great opportunities for students to connect with faculty members. It was small enough that you could actually get to know not just the professors that you had but the professors that you watched lecture or the professor that you RA for. Then I think the most important thing is probably the clinical experience. I heard great things about it from everybody I had spoken to. My experience thus far has been amazing. I’ve been in two clinics. I’ve been in one clinic in which I represented local New Haven students in expulsion hearings. That was a great experience in part because I knew that I was doing something for the community. I knew that I was helping a person who, without my services, wouldn’t have been helped in exactly the same way. My client ended up not getting expelled, and he’s on his way to finishing 11th grade in high school and, I think, graduating next year. I’ve also worked in the Criminal Justice Clinic. That was a great opportunity also to just see on the ground level how our system works and what kind of work a public defender does and how you actually are one of the last lines of defense for justice and you actually are one of the engines that helps the system work in a just way.

The people in Financial Aid Office are excellent. Not only do they make sure—for instance, when I came to Yale Law School, I had two children (I have two children now), and they were school-age children. I had to find daycare and childcare for them. I had to find a school for them. You would think that financial aid works with certain things, but they also helped facilitate my son getting adequate childcare. They’ve also just been great. You know, law school is expensive. Having a person that helps you, not just get into school and walk your way through getting the loans to pay for school, but walk your way through minimizing those loans. It’s been the best of both worlds.

A student perspective on clinics and financial aid